Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Other Vegetarian Options

I've gotten lots of comments from people coming over who are worried about finding vegetarian food. Well, it is pretty tough. And the truth is if I had it to do over I probably wouldn't have been very strict about my diet. It really does make the Japanese uncomfortable, and a little weirded out. So I would probably continue to only eat vegetarian at home and on the run, but in social situations I would have eaten more meals with meat. Just tried to pick the ones that weren't a huge chunk-o-flesh. But it's too late. The cat's out of the bag (luckily they don't eat cats here). On the other hand, I really haven't had to try to many things that look disgusting - especially octopus and squid (that just grosses me out). But, for those vegetarians coming to Japan, that want a few options, besides the tamago sando, here's one place I do well. The 100 yen conveyor belt sushi restaurants have several options for the vegetarian.

Inari - vinegared rice wrapped in a very thin layer of tofu that has been deep fried. Inari is also available in most conbinis and grocery stores. This is my favorite Japanese food!

Corn Sushi - This is corn and mayonaise on top of rice, wrapped with seaweed. I wish I liked seaweed. I really do. And I keep trying it, and it has gotten more edible. But most of the time with corn sushi, I dig out the good parts and leave the wrapper.

Tamago Sushi - A layer of scrambled/fried type egg on top of a rice ball. A little bland, so you dip it in soy sauce.

Cucumber Sushi - Think of this as your salad option. A sliver of cucumber inserted into a roll of rice surrounded by seaweed. So small you really have to eat the seewead.

You can't mind watching meat constantly going by your table, or the very fishy smell of fresh squid sushi, or entrail sushi. But I really like going to these places. They are reasonable and fun and easy. I get an order of Furaido Poteto (aka french fries), and piece of cake as well. There is a spigot of hot water at each table, where you add green tea from the nearby canister to drink as much free tea as you like. This is the real Japan, and I highly recommend it to all visitors!


At 10:32 AM, Blogger Emsk said...

Hi Natalie, I've just found your blog and am looking forward to reading it. English teaching vegetarian - me too! Isn't it a pain? I've lost count of the amount of people who've asked but whyyyyy are you a vegetarian? I'm gonna have fun reading your tips!

At 8:02 AM, Blogger wishbone said...

I've been to tokyo and eating vegetarian was my biggest problem. However, I get the "why vegetarian" comment just as much in Arizona as I did there. I found this guide after I came back:
I've love to see a more comprehensive guide for those of us who are really interested in keeping our diet strict in a land where very very few understand. Anyway it's nice reading your experiences there. Thanks for sharing!


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